Their feet were stained by wind-driven dust as they trudged the seven miles towards the city.
They didn’t notice.
Their attention absorbed in their conversation - urgent words, probing words.
What had happened? What did it mean?
In their desperate attempt at understanding they overlooked another reality;
Jesus walked beside them.
The story of two men on the road to Emmaus is among my most cherished portions of Scripture. Two years ago, the Lord gave me a dream based on these verses – it was the most vivid, intimate time with him – I’ve not had a dream like it before or since. I share it then and now in hopes that in encourages you with the reality that we serve a God who is present.
The other reason I cherish this portion of Scripture is because I could have so easily been one of those men.
So absorbed in the immediate that I missed the Divine.
Frederick Buechner writes;
Life has so much Love hidden in the corners. So much significance disguised by the mundane.
“All moments are key moments, and life itself is grace”.
Lately the Lord has been loosening my grip on the eternally insignificant – all the pseudo attempts at control, attention to image and drive to succeed. I’m amazed at the things to which I cling in desperate attempts at micro-management. Or, more accurately, in desperate pursuit of peace.
If my contentment is dependent on my circumstances then it’s always one more “if only” away.
By nature I’m a fixer. I like to straighten life’s corners. I notice the frayed edges, rough spots and broken pieces. I want them to go away.
Often our response to the aches and disappointments of life is deep sadness. It’s understandable – our souls were created to thrive in Eden and our skin is only so thick.
Denial of life’s pain results in fragile people, afraid of their own brokenness. Brittle in relationships. As someone, somewhere once said – masks reveal what they conceal.
Attempts to control life’s pain results in micro-managers. Adherents to schedule and ritual. Breathing recycled air for fear of allowing in the new.
Living in-between depression and denial is a work of God’s grace.
It’s a daily balancing act, a narrow road, with each step illuminated by the truths of Christ and Scripture. It’s a matter of accepting two realities;
Life is painful. If the Son of God walked away scarred, so will I. So will you.
God is greater. Our pain is bound to earth and we can have joy in the midst of it.
When our hearts live there we are unshakable.That’s when we can accept our own brokenness without fear. That’s when we can breathe grace into each others wounded souls. That’s when we can overlook offenses. That’s when we can catch another’s tears. That’s when we can walk the second mile on already weary legs.
Living in quiet grace frees our souls to see the significance of each moment. To accept all of life as a gift of grace.
I love this artist’s modern interpretation of the travelers on the road to Emmaus. A simple scene, Christ’s identity concealed – nothing glaringly different, obvious, revealing. Invisible grace, the Divine incognito fully present with us.
As C.S. Lewis wrote;
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
May God open our eyes to the invisible graces of life.May we know the Love that has overpowered the law. May we have the strength to accept our pain. May we be driven to Grace by our fears, sin, weakness and inadequacy. May we walk in humility, not insecurity. In confidence, not shame, in hope not despair. May we have the courage to be authentic, the grace to dwell in community. May we know how deeply, how eternally loved we are.